SECTION 6 -  Rules for Registration

6.2          Colours
6.2.11      Effective from 1 July 2011 no Shetland Sheepdog is to be registered on any register resulting from a ‘Merle to Merle’ mating born in Australia.




The Kennel Club (UK) advised in the issue of their September “Kennel Gazette that at the request of the Shetland Sheepdog Breed Council, the Kennel Club agreed that with effect from 6th July 2010, it will no longer accept the registration of any Shetland Sheepdog puppies that are produced as a result of mating two merle coloured parents together.


Coat colour in the Shetland Sheepdog is complex because a range of colours is acceptable. Merle patterning, patches of lighter colour appearing in the coat, is the result of the M gene in the dog. There are two alleles of this gene: MM (merle) and M+ (non-merle), with merle (MM) being dominant to non-merle (M+). In some breeds, the effect of the merle allele (MM) is termed ‘dapple’.


Unfortunately, the effects of the merle allele (MM) are not confined to coat patterning. The Kennel Club is aware that there can be an increased risk of impaired hearing and sight associated with it, particularly in dogs that are homozygous for MM (dogs that carry two copies of the MM allele), and has therefore agreed not to register any progeny born as a result of mating two merle parents.


As the ANKC, at the request of the Shetland Sheepdog Council, adopted the Kennel Club (UK) standard (the Country of Origin standard) and as the accepted practice is for the ANKC to automatically adopt all breed registration restriction implemented by the country where the breed standard originated, therefore it is recommended that the ANKC adopt the above regulation to bring the ANKC in line with the Kennel Club (UK) registration restrictions.